Patio Plans

Project Patio {Lauren’s Garden}

Author: Lauren Coleman

I am so over painting. We’ve decided to take a break from getting the paint brushes out and instead finish off the projects we’ve already started before resurrecting the room make-overs in the autumn.

The first mini project to finish will be in the garden. As I mentioned in my post last week I’m planning a cutting garden as well as a shady wild flower patch near the freshly painted shed however this post is all about the patio.
The previous owners definitely had green fingers and this green space has been lovingly manicured and planted and I intend to try to do my very best to continue to let it flourish. After our teeny tiny courtyard moving to such a house with such a large, established garden has been a bit overwhelming. We didn’t even have a lawnmower when we first moved, let alone a strimmer or hedge cutters.
Lolly made an excellent point a couple of weeks ago when she mentioned splitting gardens into rooms and approaching each area in turn and so the patio will be the next ‘room’ to tackle.

Here you can see a few images of the space as it currently stands. Not too shabby at all but a couple of weekend updates will upgrade the patio.

The Before Snaps {iPhone Gallery}

My garden is north facing but as it’s quite large we get far more sun than my first southerly aspect garden. However the top half of the patio nearest the house is in shade for most of the day.
The bench and the table and chairs have to stay, though they clearly need a good run down and stain. I’ve convinced myself they have another year or two in them yet and it’s too pricey to replace at the moment. How gorgeous is this garden table from John Lewis though? I love how un-outdoorsy it looks but alas there’s no budget for such beauty this year.


On The List

Replace The Lighting

We have a tiny little courtyard on the back of the living room too so in total there are six (!) lights to replace. You can see the current circular lights peeking out of the honeysuckle in the before pics. I would have liked to have gone wild and splashed out on these simple lanterns from Garden Trading but six would have been far too extravagant. Enter Wilko and their Fisherman Lantern for just £15.

Add Some Ambiance

I still haven’t sorted out what swathes of festoons I’m going to have out there, in fact I’ve started to think about lighting up the path rather than hanging overhead but in the mean time I’ve been collecting lanterns to hang through the trees and on the table.

Build An Outdoor Kitchen

Well that sounds rather grand so time to lower the expectations. The bit where the wood is stored and the hosepipe is strewn will have a bit of a makeover adding shelving, some form of make-shift sink and a perch for the new barbie. A friend of mine is a BBQ king and after a lot of discussions we stumped up the cash for a Weber barbecue which we hope to use a lot over the summer.

Fill The Empty Space

The area you see with the light and honeysuckle is the exterior of our downstairs bedroom. Ever wondered where that door off my living room goes? Well it’s in to the guest bedroom and wet-room. At first I wasn’t too keen on the idea but in reality it’s fab to let guests have their own area while we have the run of the upstairs. Anyway I digress, back to the empty space outside this room. I’m not too sure what to put here but current ideas are maybe another bench? Maybe a low level storage unit to hide away all the brooms and spades or perhaps a plant stand with a plethora of petals.

Bin Storage

Leading off the patio is the path out to the garage. And there you’ll see the eyesore that is the wheelie bin and recycling boxes. Willow screening, pallet stores, I’ve seen it all but I’m still not sure what’s the right solution for keeping the rubbish out of sight.

Bring In The Plants

When I was taking out the dead plants from the border the other day I noticed the bed is built on top of an existing patio so the bed is very, very shallow. I’ve had to rethink the plants I had in mind as I don’t think they’ll survive in such a low level of soil so I’m going to go for creeping thyme and perennials more suitable for a rockery environment. I also need to replace the hanging baskets, though I have to wait a while longer as a bird has set up home in one of last years. Then there are various pots and planters to fill for constant colour.

We’ve already started to replace the wall lighting and I’m filling the beds in preparation for a party we’re having next weekend. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to get cracking on the outdoor kitchen soon. Do you have any garden plans? Did you get up to any outdoor DIY over the bank holiday?

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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24 thoughts on “Project Patio {Lauren’s Garden}

  1. I’ve spent the last last few months (on and off) revamping our garden on a budget (patio, veg garden, new flower beds,so on – or should that be sow on??! Sorry!) . I’ve got one pearl of wisdom to share – get cheap filler plants from Morrisons. I’ve filled a new 15 foot long flower bed using the 2for£3 perennials and climbers. I thought at that price if it failed I haven’t lost much but it looks amazing! That way I can spend out on some really interesting main feature plants.
    Worth remembering!

  2. I just bought some amazing little French lavender plants from Lidl for 1.75! They are going at the bottom of the two potted olive trees that flank the front door. And I nearly pulled up my baby ranunculus plants as I forgot I had put the bulbs in and thought they were weeds but remembered in time!!

    I think (can’t remember if I’ve said this before) in many ways it’s harder inheriting an established garden than starting from scratch like we did in our last home. I feel a weird pressure to maintain it but at the end of the day the previous owners were retired green fingered garden obsessives- we are a young busy family. So, our garden rooms (love love this concept) are different! We need a playroom, space for the chickens and a herb garden, we need tough ground cover and perennials, not beds in constant need of weeding and a terrifyingly immaculate veg patch that is a constant source of guilt. Next summer we will be ringing the changes but for now will be sticking to the small stuff…. And trying not to undo the previous weekend’s work in a fit of stupidity.

    Also, long live Wilko.

    1. Hi Lucy, I totally get where you’re coming from – this garden definitely hasn’t been designed for a couple who work 100 hours a week!
      £1.75 – total bargain! I know where I’m going on the way home from the office 😉 x

  3. Lauren, I am already feeling inspired, your home is utterly beautiful. We have a similar brick, render house we are renovating/extending and the black wood between the roof and house (I am sure they have a name, but have no idea what!) would look great instead of the white we currently have. Our Garden is proving utterly overwhelming, we have just submitted for planning,so near the house cannot do anything permanent and currently have a very large blank canvas I am struggling to plan out,keep on top of and it takes me three hours to mow the lawn !

    1. Wow Rebecca, that sounds like quite a lawn 😉
      Maybe take a small little patch to turn into something beautiful and keep you sane during the renovations? x

  4. Lauren, your plans sound amazing and your garden is lovely already, so I’m sure it’ll look fab once you’re done. We’ve just moved to a new build, so we just have a patio, a solitary tomato plant and dirt at the minute (and as a result, a constantly muddy child). Our landscaper is coming TODAY to lay a lawn and plant the hedging we bought at the weekend, which we need as a privacy screen. After that, I think we’ll take some time to think about what else to do, but I am so looking forward to having grass! We need new patio furniture as well – what we have is too small for the new space – but we need it to fold away for storage. I haven’t found anything I like that we’ll be able to store, so if anyone has any suggestions, please share! 🙂

  5. Great post and was the exact subject of our bank holiday weekend!! We have a brilliant sized garden and have been lucky enough to inherit some beautiful plants and shrubs. BUT, there are two MASSIVE flowerbeds, one in a corner of the lawn which is so deep you can’t do anything with it. It has a beautiful tree in the corner so plan is to remove the corner of the bed and then use the rest of the strip as my vegetable patch and then relawn where we take the bed out. Then the other is a very large raised bed on the patio which takes so much space so we want to remove it and therefore double the size of the patio. After lots of work weeding and smartening things up over the weekend we have decided to start removing the patio raised bed and I think we will deck that area so we have a mix of patio slabs (existing), decking and gravel. The boundary wall is a high Cotswold stone wall so I think exposing that will look really pretty. Then our plan is to use the Cotswold stone we remove from the wall of the raised bed, to make a BBQ in the corner and a bench seat alongside the adjacent wall. We have double doors from our lounge and dining room onto this space so it would be great to clear it and have a large useable space.
    Another task of my weekend was to find garden cushions – seat, bench and scatter cushions – which were nice but not millions of pounds. We live in Burford so have the wonderful Burford Garden Centre in walking distance and I found exactly what I wanted but was banned from spending £300 on garden cushions. SO, if anyone else is looking for reasonably priced but stylish, look on H&M home, they have some awesome seat cushions (we have gone for these: , and Homebase has some well priced, but plain (but jazz up with scatter cushions) bench cushions.

      1. Any comment that includes Cotswold’s Stone and H&M cushions is fine by me! What an epic garden you’re going to have Milly.
        How amazing is Burford Garden Centre? I went there a few weeks ago and can’t believe I left empty handed. x

        1. BGC is INCREDIBLE. And you deserve a bloody medal for leaving empty handed. I swear it is impossible to spend under £100 per visit in that place. I sometimes go without my purse so I physically cannot buy something. If you are back in the area, the Garden Trading clearance area has lots of garden furniture at half price… Definitely worth a peek! x

  6. It looks lovely and as you’ve proved with the inside you will no doubt make it even lovelier!
    We have been busy with the garden these last few weeks. It was already established when we moved in last July but it’s been great going through spring and seeing what’s grown! We have a cherry blossom, some gorgeous Passion flowers and clematis climbing up the walls in the patio down at the bottom which is sunken down and completely private. David has spent much more time than me in it and planted lots of climbing hydrangeas climbing roses wisteria and lots of gorgeous things! We know it’s probably going to be next summer when we reap the benefit of the climbers and the peonies we’ve planted but still it’s been fun adding our own touches! We dug up four huge conifers (hate them) and it’s given us more room to plant pretty things. Most of the plants and trees already here are here to stay every year. We planted lots of bedding plants and ground cover ones to add colour and pots. We have some sunflowers in tubs and lillies. We have also got a big lavender plant in the front under the window which smells divine as well as lots and lots of greenery! Morrisons def is a winner for plants, our in laws spent fortunes ordering plants from places in magazines but not all of them have been as good and she is a gardening whizz and recommends morrisons a lot! A lot of our hydrangeas have been from there or M&S!
    We painted some old garden furniture to put us on and got a fancy table cloth for it which works nicely and have got our eye on some ratten table and chairs or a rattan corner sofa. I really want lots of lights in the patio but as its a fair way from the house not sure how hard it is to get electric down there? Solar lights are our friends for now and lots of shepherd hooks with candle lanterns on! X

  7. What a lovely haven you’ve created Alex. Fingers crossed we’ll have a gorgeous summer x

  8. Since we moved into our house last year most of the focus has been on our garden – there were some really rather overgrown shrubs/trees that were past their best an needed tackling. One of the things we did treat ourselves to though was a Weber BBQ – its now in it’s second year and we love it. Not too big it feels excessive to light for just 2 of us but can cope if we have a group of friends over.

    Also Burford Garden Centre! I’d never been but since it was my birthday on Saturday my fiance allowed himself to be dragged round, sooo many nice things but sadly mainly out of my budget. However I will be looking at those H&M cushions – thanks Milly they’re really cute 🙂

    1. Very girlie question coming up Jenny, but what colour Weber did you go for? We went for the slate one and it’s so good looking!
      Hope you had a lovely birthday last week. Burford is immense isn’t it? x

      1. Ours is a classic black one although if I’d seen one at the time I would have wanted a crimson!

        Burford is great, thankfully for my wallet the valley garden centre near Evesham is closer so our more normal browsing location – although I still seem to spend plenty of pennies!

  9. Yeay for H&M cushions Jenny!

    Lauren – can you do a BBQ post for RMS? That would be mega useful!!! xx

    1. Hi Jenny, always happy to help! BBQ as in the actual cooking machine or recipes for barbies? X

      1. The actual cooking machine. It is a bit of a minefield as we were planning to buy a new one before deciding to make one with the patio overhaul. So it would be super useful! xx

  10. I love your garden Lauren! And your inspiration pictures look gorgeous. My fiance is dying for a Weber BBQ but we’ve said we’ll get one once we upgrade to a bigger house (and garden) in a few years time, for now our current BBQ will do. I’d love to see your Weber BBQ and hear your thoughts on it though, and of course I can’t wait to see your patio area once it’s finished.

    Gemma x
    The British Feather – A UK Lifestyle & Home Decor Blog

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